All high schoolers will be required to learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver before earning their diplomas starting in 2015.
The law also requires all public buildings across the state have automatic defibrillators.
"The Red Cross says that somebody in America goes into cardiac arrest every two minutes in this country. Ninety-five percent of folks in cardiac arrest die before they reach the hospital," Governor Bev Perdue said.
This new law aims to help lower those numbers. With one in four deaths in North Carolina being related to heart disease, the governor recommends businesses, churches and other organizations get an AED for their building.
As AEDs are installed in state buildings across the state, employees will be trained on how to use the equipment.
CPR training has been required for graduation since 1997, but it has not been enforced. CPR training programs will be in every high school by 2015.
North Carolina is one of only five states to enact this legislation, along with Iowa, Alabama, Tennessee, and Minnesota.